“Creative differences,” by the way, was the same explanation used when Patty Jenkins left Thor: The Dark World in 2011; the last time a woman got anywhere near the director’s chair of a superhero movie.
MacLaren was chosen from a shortlist of female directors last year, as DC Comics and Warner Bros. wanted a woman in charge of the franchise. Given that MacLaren is best known for TV work on Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, this would have been her most prestigious career move to date. Warner Bros. still appears to be going ahead for a 2017 release date, with some of the more cynical Wonder Woman fans already speculating that MacLaren will be replaced by a man.
What's the percentage on Warner Bros. getting a male director for the #WonderWoman film? 99%? 99.1?— Heavily Armed De Armas (@donnelly92274) April 14, 2015
So now that Michelle MacLaren has left Wonder Woman, they'll just hire a male director and be like "Well, we tried. *shrug*"— Rick (@stopthepota) April 14, 2015
Comic book adaptations have a dismal history with hiring women behind the camera. If anything, the genre is doing even worse than the rest of the industry, where women make up just seven percent of working directors.
With the exception of Punisher: War Zone (directed by Lexi Alexander) and Nicole Perlman‘s co-writing credit on Guardians of the Galaxy, superhero movies are dominated by male creative teams. So while it’s entirely possible that MacLaren’s “creative differences” were the same kind of conflict that led to Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man, it’s difficult to avoid seeing a pattern.
Photo via Imgur/Zack Snyder